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Clip description

An injured Max (Mel Gibson) has returned to the settler’s camp, after his car has been destroyed. He offers to drive the oil tanker for their breakout attempt. Humungus’s men line up to await his charge. Humungus has put Wez (Vernon Wells) on a chain, to punish him for disobedience; he also has the bodies of two hostages strapped to the grille. The Feral Kid (Emil Minty) stows away on Max’s truck, as he takes off. The Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence) helps Max from the air, as the settlers leave in the other direction. After their departure, Humungus’s men occupy the refinery, but too quickly for their own good.

Curator’s notes

An exceptional sequence, partly because of the way Miller and his editors control the tempo, and temperature, of the action. They don’t want the excitement peaking too early, hence the beautiful shot in the middle, of the truck lumbering up the hill. Brian May’s extraordinary score shifts from a long, high, brass note (over the gyro-copter) to a low, rebuilding bass beat over the climbing truck. This builds as the truck passes, pauses to breathe a sigh of relief as the settlers escape, then settles into an expectant drone as we await the booby-trap explosion. There is no music as the refinery explodes – the film, like the settlers, becomes literally ‘speechless’ in a musical sense.